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A $3.3 million project to renovate the turf and track at Lompoc's Huyck Stadium, shown in this May 21 file photo, is nearing a start date. On Tuesday, the Lompoc Unified School District board of education unanimously approved entering into an agreement with Byrom-Davey Inc., to serve as the project's lead contractor.

Plans for an extensive renovation of Lompoc's Huyck Stadium took another key step forward this week, as a construction firm has been selected to lead the multimillion-dollar project.

At its meeting Tuesday, the Lompoc Unified School District board of education voted 5-0 to approve an agreement with Byrom-Davey Inc., to serve as the lead contractor for the first phase of the most significant upgrade in the 56-year-old stadium's history.

With a contractor in place, work to replace the stadium’s grass field and clay track with synthetic surfaces is slated to begin immediately after the conclusion of the high school football season in November. The work is expected to be completed in time for Lompoc High School’s graduation ceremony at the stadium in June 2020.

Ashley Costa, the executive director of the Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization (LVCHO), which is partnering with LUSD on the project, said that Tuesday’s vote “was a pivotal step toward making this project a reality.”

Costa noted that a steering committee within the Campaign for the Lompoc Community Track & Field, which raised about half the funding needed for the $3.3 million renovation, worked alongside district staff to review, interview and score each of the three contractors that submitted bids for the project this summer.

“Ultimately, the committee unanimously determined that Byrom-Davey Inc., was the best candidate for this specific project, particularly due to [its] experience building over 400 similar track and field projects throughout the western United States, the most of any candidate,” she said.

According to its website, at byrom-davey.com, the firm has extensive experience building and/or renovating stadiums and athletic fields at high schools and colleges throughout the state. It lists similar track and field projects at UCSB, Santa Barbara City College and Cal Poly among its work history on the Central Coast.

Byrom-Davey President/CEO Steve Davey, who grew up in the Santa Ynez Valley, attended Tuesday’s board meeting alongside Vice President Eric Jennings Sr. and Project Manager Mark Deferville.

Costa, who noted she was impressed that the firm sent representatives to the meeting “to show their commitment,” said that Byrom-Davey leaders have expressed a desire to keep the project as local as possible.

“Critical to the bid award is Byrom-Davey’s commitment to supporting local businesses,” she said. “Byrom-Davey has pledged to subcontract with local companies to provide services not within their purview.”

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The first phase of the project, which was first proposed by Costa in February 2017, will consist of converting the natural grass field at the stadium to synthetic turf, switching the track from its loose red clay to a synthetic polyurethane “all-weather” surface, and reconfiguring the track to the modern accepted standard of 400 meters with nine lanes.

LUSD has committed to funding the other half of the $3.3 million total cost of the first phase, which is expected to benefit the entire community.

Currently, the stadium is mostly used for school-related events, perhaps most notably as the home field for both the Lompoc and Cabrillo high school football teams. After the renovations, though, project leaders plan to have the stadium opened up to the community for exercising and as a venue for a wider range of community events.

“The outstanding partnership between LUSD and LVCHO will, at last, significantly upgrade both the track and the turf at this historic sports facility,” LUSD Superintendent Trevor McDonald said. “We see this as a great win-win-win for LUSD, our student athletes and the community at-large, [which] will have far more public access to Huyck Stadium than ever before.”

He also thanked the many people who donated to the effort over the past two-plus years and noted that the more than $1.6 million raised by the LVCHO constituted the largest charitable gift in LUSD history.

A series of weekly construction and design meetings with LUSD staff, LVCHO representatives and Byrom-Davey officials is scheduled to begin Monday, Aug. 19. Those planning meetings are intended to be used to finalize the design and construction details, according to LUSD.

Doug Sorum, LUSD’s director of maintenance and operations, said he was thrilled to work with Byrom-Davey to make the renovations a reality.

“This is the largest and most exciting project of my career with LUSD,” he said. “The fact that this is a collaborative project with LVCHO and that not just student athletes in our district, but the entire community will benefit from this project for decades to come gives me great pride. I’m a Lompoc native and love my hometown, and this project has been a long time coming.”

For more information on the Campaign for the Lompoc Community Track & Field, visit http://lompoctrackandfield.com.

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Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.

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Reporter

Willis Jacobson covers news and other issues, primarily those that affect the Lompoc Valley and Vandenberg Air Force Base, for Lee Central Coast News. He is a graduate of The University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications.